Using positive reinforcement training methods, our certified experienced trainers will share with you ways to teach your dog basic skills and to properly socialize and tips on providing humane care and enrichment. Upon graduation, the bond between you and your dog will be strengthened, you will have a deeper understanding of how dogs learn and you will know how to use life rewards to encourage the behaviors you want to see more of from your dog.

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking

$70 for a 90-minute virtual workshop via Zoom plus a 30-minute private lesson with you and your dog.

A leash is vital walking equipment that ensures safety for your pet. Walking your dog on leash can be one of the most enjoyable experiences, but for most people and dogs, it can take a bit of patience and some getting used to. A loose leash during a walk is a clear indication of a walk going well, for both you and your dog. We are excited to offer this workshop to help you address behaviors – both yours and your dog’s - to achieve a loose leash during walks, and hence a safe walk that both you and your dog can enjoy. There’s nothing like sharing a good walk, like a good conversation, and building the bond between you and your dog.

Before the workshop begins, we will email you a reminder with the link for the Zoom meeting and a packet of resources and information for the workshop. The 90-minute workshop will take place virtually with other participants via Zoom, in the comfort of your home. After the workshop, you will sign up for a private 30-minute lesson with one of our certified instructors. Your private lesson can be either in-person at DCHS (5132 Voges Road) in accordance with COVID safety protocols or virtually via Zoom. Before your private lesson, you will have some homework to do with your dog, which can be found in the packet we will email you before the workshop.

Please note: while we offer tips on how to walk multiple dogs, this workshop will focus solely on the walking of one dog. Additionally, as we do not advocate the use of choke chains, prong collars, shock collars, and bark collars, our workshop will not offer instructions on how to use these walking tools.

Register

Puppy Preschool

$120 for six week session

Socialization is one of the most important things you can do for your new puppy. Getting your dog familiar with new sights, sounds and smells - including people and other animals - will help your dog be accustomed to everyday life and to develop skills to cope with new experiences in a positive way. In this class, you will discover how dogs learn, the best ways to teach your dog basic manners and tips on how to socialize your puppy. Set your dog up for success by taking a puppy class! For puppies 8-16 weeks of age at the start of class.

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Canine Kindergarten

$120 for six week session

Life is all new for young dogs! Learn to teach them the ropes of navigating our world by taking this class. You will also teach your dog manners so you can take them with you to more places. Gaining their focus is key, and the start of a great relationship. For pups 17 weeks - 24 weeks (6 months) of age at the start of class.

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Good Dog! Fundamentals

$120 for six week session

It’s never too late to teach your dog new skills and change behavior. Let us help you set your dog up for success through a better understanding of how dogs learn and setting reasonable expectations. Together, you and your dog will learn useful skills that can be applied later to help identify positive approaches to real life situations. For dogs 20 weeks and older.

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Good Dog! Intermediate

$120 for six week session

Does your dog have selective hearing? Only comes when called some of the time? Does your dog have difficulty paying attention? Will your dog only respond when you have a treat in your hand? Then come join us in Dog Training II Class where we improve upon your dog's skills so you and your dog are better equipped to navigate real-world challenges.

Enrollment in Good Dog! Intermediate requires previous enrollment in Good Dog! Fundamentals or a previous comparable class.

Register

Canine Explorers' Course

$75 for three-week group class session (45-minute class time)

$35 for three-week solo class session (for one reactive dog only; 15-minute class time)

Build on your dog's skills to learn how to navigate an agility-like course! Teaching your dog to jump, climb, and run through tunnels can build confidence, as well as teamwork between you and your dog. There will be a group class for dogs that are not reactive to other dogs. If your dog is reactive, enroll in the solo class, by signing up for the first available solo class session.

Enrollment in Canine Explorers Course Class requires previous enrollment in Puppy Nursery School, Canine Kindergarten, or Good Dog! Fundamentals, or a previous comparable class.

(Class dates to be announced.)

Class Schedule

Mondays, August 9 - September 20 (skipping September 6)

Good Dog! Fundamentals 6:30-7:20 pm (FILLED); Good Dog! Fundamentals 7:35-8:25 pm (FILLED)

Tuesdays, August 10 - September 14

Puppy Preschool 6:30-7:20 pm (FILLED); Canine Kindergarten 7:35-8:25 pm (FILLED)

Wednesday, August 11

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 6:30-8 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Saturday, August 14 - September 18

Good Dog! Fundamentals 10-10:50 am (FILLED); Good Dog! Intermediate 11:05-11:55 am (FILLED)

Wednesday, September 15

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 6:30-8 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Saturday, September 25

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 11 am - 12:30 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Tuesdays, September 28 - November 2

Puppy Preschool 6:30-7:20 pm; Canine Kindergarten 7:35-8:25 pm

Mondays, September 27 - November 1

Good Dog! Fundamentals 6:30-7:20 pm; Good Dog! Fundamentals 7:35-8:25 pm

Saturdays, October 2 - November 13 (skipping Oct. 16)

Good Dog! Fundamentals 10-10:50 am; Good Dog! Intermediate 11:05-11:55 am

Wednesday, October 13

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 6:30-8 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Saturday, October 23

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 11 am - 12:30 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Wednesday, November 10

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 6:30-8 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Mondays, November 15 - December 20

Good Dog! Fundamentals 6:30-7:20 pm; Good Dog! Fundamentals 7:35-8:25 pm

Tuesdays, November 16 - December 21

Puppy Preschool 6:30-7:20 pm; Canine Kindergarten 7:35-8:25 pm

Saturday, November 20

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 11 am - 12:30 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Wednesday, December 15

Virtual Workshop on Loose Leash Walking from 6:30-8 pm. Schedule your follow-up private 30 minute-lesson with an instructor after this workshop.

Details

Location

In-person group classes are held in the Training Room at DCHS (5132 Voges Rd Madison, WI 53718). Virtual workshops take place via Zoom in the comfort of your home. Private lessons part of the workshops can take place virtually or in-person at DCHS - your choice!

Discounts

Discounts apply if you adopted your dog from DCHS. An in-person group training session is only $100.00 if you purchase the training session at the time of adoption at DCHS. A training session costs $110.00 if you adopted your dog from DCHS. Workshops for DCHS alumni cost $60.00. For the link to receive the discount, please call Michelle at: (608) 838-0413 ext. 164, or email: mlivanos@giveshelter.org.

COVID protocol

All people must wear a mask while inside our facility and socially distance themselves.

First classes

The first class for Puppy Preschool, Canine Kindergarten, and Good Dog! Fundamentals is for people only. Please arrive to the first class without your dog to learn behavior and training fundamentals to help you in class when you bring your dog.

Dogs that shouldn't attend classes

Dogs that are aggressive towards people; dogs that cannot safely be controlled on-leash in close proximity to other dogs; and dogs that are unable to stop barking at other dogs for the duration of class are not permitted in class.

Cancellations

Registration fees for classes are non-refundable.

Questions?

Please contact Michelle Livanos at (608) 838-0413 ext. 164 or mlivanos@giveshelter.org.

Meet Our Dog Trainers

Nikki Darga, CPDT-KA

Nikki has loved animals for as long as she can remember and dogs have always been a large part of her life. Nikki started training dogs more formally in a competitive obedience setting with her chocolate lab, Kona. Nikki and Kona were able to show for five years, winning many blue ribbons in the process. Nikki has worked with dogs in other capacities, such as at a dog daycare and boarding facility. A certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA), Nikki has been involved with DCHS dog training classes since May 2016. Nikki has a tiny senior Chihuahua named Mabel, several cats and a few other pets that she loves to train and spend time with.

Clarinda Arsenault, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Clarinda graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partners program, and is a professional member of Karen Pryor Academy and Professional Pet Guild. She has had the good fortune to be taught and mentored by many highly-skilled animal trainers. Committed to providing the most effective, convenient solutions to her clients’ dog training needs, Clarinda avidly pursues continuing education and professional development by attending several seminars per year and keeping current on industry literature. Clarinda thrives on helping dogs and their people strengthen their bond through positive reinforcement training and an understanding of dog and human behavior. When not helping clients to enjoy fulfilling lives with their dog friends, Clarinda trains her own two dogs, and loves going for long walks with them in the woods and fields of Wisconsin.